Baltic Sea Cruise

Old May 10th, 2008, 12:55 AM
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Baltic Sea Cruise

We are cruising the Baltic Sea and stopping at the various ports. We wish to do shore excursions with a private tour company. Can anyone help to reasure us that we will have no trouble disembarking, due to the ships own shore excursions, and does the ship arrive in plenty of time to catch tours? Ship is Eurodam.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 05:17 AM
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I and my granddaughter will be on Carnival's Splendor, and I was concerned about this same issue, but only in St.Petersburg. I received a letter from Carnival that most of the cruise lines send, I believe, as a scare tactic. Perhaps Percy, a member of Foder's, will find this posting and tell you how easy it was for him to disembark; he certainly gave me a boost of confidence. I am going to use either Alla or DenRus to tour St. Petersburg, doing the other ports independently...much cheaper and more fun. On the Trip Advisor web site you can get lots of ideas from past travelers. Tickets for the Anne Frank House and Tivoli Gardens can be purchased on line, and after looking over the itineraries the ship offers, there is nothing that cannot be done independently, except, in my case, St. Petersburg.

The private tour companies in St. Petersburg, that I've been communicating with, have addressed the disembarkation tactics of the ships. In short, " is illegal to interfere with a passenger's disemarkation while in a country's territorial waters." This came from [email protected]. I believe he's the Denrus forum's administrator. If you go to the forum section on the DenRus web site, many questions can be answered. Also, you may find others trying to put together custom tours. I am now communicating with a couple opting to sign up with a DenRus tour in St. Petersburg. Furthermore, both DenRus and Alla have told me there will be plenty of us not on the expensive ship's tour.

It's too bad Carnival opted to use certain wording in its form letter, because I might have considered at least one of their tours. Now the ship gets zero from me.

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Old May 10th, 2008, 06:29 AM
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Sandra is correct. You will be able to get off the ship at your own convenience. Last summer, we just lined up at the hatch and waited for the ship to get clearance from the Russian Authorities. They even had a separate line for visa holders, distinct from the tour groups.

If you search this forum, you will find many recommendations for tour guides at the Baltic cruise ports, including my own.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Hi trapsma


There is NO problems getting off in St.Petersburg.

I am sending you my trip report.

Just click on the website and then scroll down to St.Petersburg and you will read how easy it really is.

I used Alla and she was terrific.

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Old May 10th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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Hi, Percy. I knew you'd come through. You really helped me a lot with my planning.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 06:01 PM
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Hi trapsma

Glad to help.. I hope you will be as lucky as I was in St.Petersburg.

Have a nice safe happy Baltic Cruise

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Old May 15th, 2008, 04:57 AM
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Hi Percy,
I have made arrangements with Alla but it has come to my attention she does not go into Peterhof palace only a tour of the fountains. She says it is because Catherine and Peterhof are so alike and the tour is so short only one is needed, but I read somewhere that it is because she doesnt have a contract. My question is if this is a deal breaker. I think I want to go inside Peterhof and the other companys Denrus and RO do go. So with your advice I would like to make a choice. Do you have enough time to do everything and Yuspov Palace?? Questions Questions Thank you so much
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Old May 15th, 2008, 11:07 AM
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The Peterhof is quite a distance from the Catherine Palace and St. Petersburg. It seems to me sad to go that distance and not go in.

If you cannot make satisfactory arrangements, we had a very good experience with Julia & Vladimir last July.

You can reach them at [email protected] or +7 921 324 46 40.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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I planned out with Alla a months before the places I wanted to see.

You will have some free time at both Catherine Place and Peterhof.

I saw about all I wanted inside Catherine Palace...for my free time I knew the ground lay-out cold and knew where I was going..the others just stayed around the gift shops !!

While I saw:

Upper and Lower Baths
Hall on the Island
Chesma Column
Turkish Bath
Marble Bridge
Girl with a Pitcher .
Great Pond.
Cameron Gallery.

I actually just made one big walking loop around the Great Pond where Catherine the Great like to be entertained!!!

Once at Cameron Gallery you are virtually back at Catherine Palace.

At Peterhof :

The main things I wanted to see inside were :
The Great( Main)Staircase
The State Roomsabd the Blue Dinning Room.( I saw them all).

Is all this similar to Catehrine Place's ..... well yes,but you never get tired of looking at the opulence !!!

I walk the grounds outside both front and back to see all the Fountains... don't kid yourself, even a fast walker like me , knowing the outline of the gardens very well...I still missed a few and saw some from a block away.

I spent too much time ,I think, amusing myself with some of the many trick fountains.

I did get to go to the Marly Palace which also has it's own set of fountains.

The I had a full tour of Monplaisir ...which was Peter the Great's favourite place ,right on the bank of the Gulf of Finland.
(Monpaisir means My Pleasure !!)

Across the Gulf you can see the Dome of St.Issac's Catherdal in St. Petersburg.

On the way coming and going to Catherine Place and to Peterhof ,we stopped off at many monument sites and were able to walkabout and take pictures.

Peterhof and Catherine Palace are really not that far apart , but remember ...driving is driving and it still consumes time.

Then once you get at each place there is so much to see.

That is why I tell some home work ahead of time and know what there is at each place... if you come here "cold", the

the fountains alone at Peterhof will mezmerize you !!!!

I would give up a little time at Peterhof...if you have just had a good tour of Caterine's Place.

This will give you time to go to Yusupov's Place in down town St.Petersburg.

This is a private residence and did not belong to any Tsar.

You will see the display they have about Rasputin....he was shot here but did not die here.!!

The Palace itself is something to see with its own private 180 seat Opera inside.
Psst ,don't touch anything because you are being watched even when no one is around !!!

If your tour guide wants you to travel part way (a short distance) on the underground subway... take this for sure... a good experience !!

You know the more you know ,the more you will enjoy yourself when you are driving around.

As we drove down Nevskiy Prospekt( Their Main Avenue)
I said to myself

: "Gee there is "
Stroganov Place
The Singer House
The Literary Cafe from where Puskin left that fatal Night and got shot.

"Gee, there is Gostiny Dor
and Grand Eurpean Hotel and Armenina Church ...Yeliseev's delicatessen (lovely inside ..go in if you can !!)
then there is

The Anichkov Palace and Bridge( 4 nice horse on the bridge )
and the Beloselskiy-Belozerkiy Palace."
(you know I had to memorize this name just to get it straight in my mind.!!)

You will have enough time to do Catherine Palace and Peterhof and still do Yusopov's Palace BUT you have to give up a little

... take a quick walk inside at Peterhof and see the mainrooms and stairs...then come outside and after taking all the pictures you want of the famous fountains....

...head for Marly Palace and then do Montplaisir...because you will pass many more fountains just going to Marly and to Monplaisir.

and don't forget the nextday you will be doing
The Hermitage and Peter and Paul's Cathedral across the Neva River from The Hermitage ( Winter Palalce).

Good Luck and Happy Journey


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